mens ugg The Medieval and Early Modern Centre
Hilary Davidson is a dress and textile historian specialising in early modern and medieval clothing cultures. After many years working in England, including being curator of fashion and decorative arts at the Museum of London, she is currently based in her native Sydney where she continues to lecture, teach and publish in her field. Hilary is an Honorary Associate at MEMC, a doctoral student at La Trobe, Melbourne, teaches dress history in Sydney, London and Cambridge, and is completing a major book on Regency clothing for Yale University Press.
Hilary trained as a bespoke shoemaker and has sewn for over thirty years. She brings a high level of technical expertise in material culture to the study of dress history, complementing her extensive theoretical knowledge of how and why people wear clothes, and what it means when they do. Using reconstructions of historical dress, and studying objects in depth has led to her ongoing appreciation of the role of body knowledges in understanding dress. Her work is necessarily interdisciplinary, and she welcomes the challenges and insights that brings.
Hilary main focus is European dress cultures pre 1850, including medieval clothing and textiles, particularly in relation to material transmissions of skill and style across cultures (including Islamic to Christian Europe); and sixteenth century dress, especially of Golden Age Spain. Age of transition and transmission are of particular interest, such as the early years of the 20th century, or the British Regency period.
Her ground breaking research into has led to a three year research project into clothing practices in the global long Regency (1795 1820s), resulting in a book (Yale University Press, 2018), as well as various smaller outputs. The book will be the first major scholarly volume focussed on Regency dress, and incorporates extensive evidence from material culture as well as archival sources.
Archaeological textiles and dress are a vital source for investigating non documentary clothing history, and Hilary work has increasingly involved this area, from the burial textiles of nineteenth century working class Londoners, to 16th century knitted caps (in association with Dr. Jane Malcolm Davies, Marie Skodowska Curie Fellow at the Centre for Textile Research, University of Copenhagen), and Latvian dress in the middle ages (producing the first English language article on the subject).
The discipline of archaeology has long established experimental archaeology as a methodology for creating embodied cognition about a subject through reconstruction. Hilary also uses remaking as a way of investigating dress history, and studies the role of body knowledges and hand skills in creating and interpreting clothing. Examining absences in textiles, what is missing from the material record, is another aspect of this interest.
Thesis: History: Knowledge making, Materiality,
Touch and the Intangible in Dress and Textiles, 1500 1850 Supervisor: Professor Timothy Murray the Sole: Shoes, Emotions and the Supernatural in Sally Holloway, S. Downes and S. if he have not a velvet or taffeta hat”: A survey of excavated sixteenth century knitted caps in K. Gr and F. Pritchard (eds.) Aspects of the Design, Production and Use of Textiles and Clothing from the Bronze Age to the Early Modern Era (Budpest: Archaeolingua), 223 232.2015 ‘Aspects of the Design, Production and Use of Textiles and Clothing from the Bronze Age to the Early Modern Era’. NESAT XII. The North European Symposium of Archaeological Textiles, 21st 24th May 2014 in Hallstatt, Austria. Archaeolingua Main Series 33. Budapest 2015.2015 Jane Austen Silk Pelisse Coat, c. 1812 14 in Costume, Volume 49, Issue 2, 198 223. (London: Dorling Kindersley), 43 113.2012 in Adrian Miles with Brian Connell (eds.), New Bunhill Fields Burial Ground, Southwark: Excavations at Globe Academy, 2008 (Molas Archaeology Studies) (London: Museum of London Archaeology).2012 in G. R. Owen Crocker, E. Coatsworth and M. Hayward (eds.), Encyclopedia of Dress and Textiles in the British Isles c. 450 1450 (Leiden and Boston: Brill).2010 and the Spanish Court in G. Riello P. McNeil (eds.), The Fashion History Reader: Global Perspectives (Oxford: Routledge), 169 171.2010 Hilary Davidson and Ieva Pgozne, Textiles and Dress in Latvia from the 7th to 13th Centuries: Research, Results, Reconstructions in Gale. R. Owen Crocker and Robin Netherton (eds.), Medieval Clothing and Textiles, Vol. VI, 1 32.2007Hilary Davidson and Anna Hodson, Forces: the intersection of two replica garments in M. Hayward and E. Kramer (eds.), Textiles And Text: Re Establishing The Links Between Archival And Object Based Research (London: Archetype), 204 210.2006 and Sin: the Magic of Red Shoes in: Peter McNeil Giorgio Riello (eds.), Shoes: A History from Sneakers to Sandal, (London: Berg, 2006 2012),